This is probably the most important series of voice articles you will ever read. Let’s face it, there is far more mis-information available about the voice then there is correct information. This series of articles will give you a big picture view of the voice and what goes into developing your full and unique voice
Sounds Good To Me – Eliminate Throat Tension - Article
As a vocal coach, I hear it all the time. I love to sing but when I do, I get hoarse and need to shout to be heard after only a few hours. Some days I just want to give up. What am I doing wrong? What can I do about it?
ALL ABOUT THE VOICE - Cashbox Magazine Canada and Cashbox TV
Written by Don Graham Cashbox Magazine Canada & Cashbox TV
It’s not unusual to hear virtuoso musicians talk about the great teachers they had and lessons they took. Be it guitar players, horn players or string instruments, most had some form of lessons or training. And how often have you heard vocalists refer to their voice as their “instrument” ? And yet the majority of pop or country singers don’t take lessons or have any training. The theory seems to be “ I open my mouth and sing.” But how much would singers benefit from a little training? I would venture to say, like any other “instrumentalist”, a lot .
Enter vocal coach Donna Flynn. “ I can help people get the most out of their singing voices by teaching them techniques and exercises that I have studied and are proven. This enables me to take singers to the next level,”
Donna grew up in Montreal “I was active in the music and repertory scene as a singer and dancer.” She moved to Toronto where she began a journey of vocal training with vocal coaches in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Nashville and the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, but she felt that none of these were helping her reach the level she was sure she was capable of reaching. She began to realise if she was going to bring out her full voice and individuality she would have to develop it herself. So that’s what set out to do.
“ I could have continued my career performing and traveling but I wanted a steady foundation and didn’t want to live out of a suitcase. So I had to figure how to stay involved with singing and voice so I thought what better way than to help others reach their vocal potential.”
She took courses to understand the science behind vocal techniques and in 2004 started her vocalcoach.ca. enterprise and business is booming. “I’m not doing just singing but voice work in general.” Here is a good capsulation of Donna’s business model, in her own words.
“I have been involved in countless audition processes for commercials, tv, stage, and have worked with record companies, award winning producers, and vocalists preparing for recording, performing and touring. Business professionals and leaders sharpen their speaking and presentation skills through coaching too. Voice feminization and voice masculinization in the transgender community is becoming more and more common. It seems that everyone has something they want to do and they want to do it in the best way possible. People show up at my office with more than just goals. They show up with dreams for their future, be it career or simply to find their inner joy. I take my role in that seriously by bringing you only the highest caliber comprehensive training tools. My combined background in voice coaching, and more important, in the health and proper use of the voice allows you to be properly assessed so you get only what works best for you and leaves out all the standard outdated old school exercises that take forever to get any meaningful and lasting results, if any at all.
The voice can be damaged easily. Doing wrong things reinforce bad habits. Get the direction that offers the safest and most up-to-date scientifically proven ways to get results. If you can find a Vocal Coach with a broader and more extensive background than me, I will eat a goldfish! Okay, well maybe I won't actually eat a goldfish but I want to you to know how much I really mean what I say, so I just threw that in.
My approach is different. My background is extensive. If you are serious about giving your voice only what is specific to you and the place you are starting from (the good, the bad, and the ugly), this training is for you.”
About Cashbox Magazine: Cashbox Magazine released their first publication in the 1940's with Cashbox Magazine Canada Online launched seven years ago.
The Forefront of Voice Development - Singing Lessons & Speaking Voice Training -Beginner to Advanced
Hi. I am Vocal Coach Donna Flynn. People show up at my office with more than just goals. They show up with dreams and goals for their future, be it career or simply to find more inner joy. I take my role in that seriously by bringing you only the highest caliber comprehensive training tools known today.
3 EASY STEP APPROACH:
Step 1 Engage your Full Vocal System using 4-Key medically and scientifically developed voice principles.
SNAPSHOT OF SERVICES OFFERED (Personal and Professional Development):
- Singing Lessons - Vocal Technique for the Singing Voice
- Speaking Voice Training
- Voice Health and Maintenance (hoarseness, tightness, reverse voice weakness or loss of vocal function)
- Professional Vocal Assessment / Diagnostic
- Stage Fright / Stress Management
- Educational Kinesiology for Whole Brain Learning
Step 2 Build confidence and give a consistent delivery that you can be proud of. Stop stage fright and anxiety in its tracks! Learn to control your voice, develop your stage style, and connect with and inspire others, becoming fully engaged with your audience.
Step 3 Step outside the box. This by far is the most powerful training available today. The more you are willing to throw yourself into new territory, the greater the rewards will be. Reach greater levels of personal excellence. Come open to the experience, ready to discover the unexpected.
Do you wake up in the middle of the night and cannot get back to sleep, get nervous before a presentation, or sometimes find anxiety is overwhelming? If you answered yes to any of these, I suggest you try this technique.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
“Thank you Donna for so sensitively tailoring each session to my personality, talents and learning style. You calm and reassure me. Yet you also energize and encourage me. I leave each session more confident in myself and more excited for our next one.
You're a delightfully positive breath of fresh air. I just want to take big delicious gulps whenever I see you!” Jonathan Wong
“As valuable and instructive as the individual lessons are, the real gift is the takeaway of her technique. It remains like software in your brain...an App installed for your voice. One of her lessons isn't like 10...more like 50 or 100." Barry McIntrye
"She helped me to see, what fifteen years of classical training could not! Genius!" Christine Wall - Actress Movie & TV
BALANCING A CONVENTIONAL JOB & MUSIC - Making a Place for Your Music - Article
“If you follow your bliss you are going to be happy for sure.“ Those are the words of singer Johnny Favourite who earned himself a Certified Gold Album titled Holiday Romance, a Juno Award for Breakthrough Group of the Year presented by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, multiple ECMA Awards and nominations, and has performed in over 60 countries (you can check him out on MySpace).
“Some of the greatest musicians I admire Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Etta James, Nina Simone, Dinah Shore, Diana Washington; their phrasing really captivated and changed everything. You could take Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber and thread it all the way back to Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. They are the three people who actually changed the way people sang. More phrasing!”, says Johnny.
Having experienced so much success you would think that he had things all figured out. Not exactly!
He explains, “I never really cared about the norm. What was most important to me was the pursuit of musical perfection which is impossible to achieve. Tony Bennett once told me, the more you learn about music the more you learn about nothing. He is getting better as he gets older. He’s in his 80’s now and his onset, his structure, his phrasing is just absolutely magnificent.”
Johnny knew he was born to sing. The music industry had its rewards and its downfalls. Eventually he knew he needed to step back and take a long hard look at the direction life was taking him in. He says it boiled down to “core values”. Where he came from, who he is as a person, and how he wants his life to be.
When on the road touring he found out his album went Certified Gold. That is 50 thousand albums at $20.00 each. Cha-ching! Not so fast! His share was $1.75 from each album. The rest went to the record company who he owed $800,000.00 to make it.
Once he fulfilled all his obligations he decided it was time for a change. Johnny moved to the South of Portugal to do what he loved most, pursue his love of art and singing. He longed for a warm climate, less travel, and more fun. He had grown tired of the music business. Portugal felt like home. He began auctioning art and continued to perform regularly in wine cellars and quaint European venues. Some may describe his life as glamorous but to him he is simply doing what he was born to do, sing.
Balancing a conventional job that he loved with a successful music career was the ideal scenario. I think a lot of people can relate to that. His record company, on the other hand, had different ideas. Johnny’s producer got on an airplane, headed to the South of Portugal, and told him that it was time to get back to Canada to record his next album.
His producer contacted me to help prepare Johnny for the recording studio and the demands of performance after him being away from the North American spotlight. For the album to make it, it needed to break into the USA market. This album needed to hit hard and hit fast. A team of people was put together but the pace was a big change from the fun and frolic he had been enjoying in Europe. There was a lot of work to be done. Johnny and I met every day to bring him up to speed until he was scheduled to record in the studio. He put his whole heart and soul into the preparation. The album, “Troubadour”, is said to be “the finest jazz interpretative pop album this side of Buble”. In fact, the album hit #1 in Canada within the first three weeks of being released by Sony Music Entertainment Canada – Curve Music in Toronto.
Finding the right place for you is not always as obvious as you may think. As Johnny explains it about friends like Michael Buble, “last time I saw him he invited me on his G5 to go to New York for a steak at his favorite steak restaurant.” The diversity between owning a G5 and not having much can be large. Johnny does not make the bulk of his money from CD’s. He makes it from performing and making people happy.
Johnny says, “I found contentment and an ability to really reflect with myself and really think. You know sometimes it is tough to be honest with yourself and say to yourself, could I have done that, should I have done that, but I have found an honesty with myself that I could not have done because I was not able to admit my failings and where my life is at now. I’m singing in a little bar, at weddings, but I am happier now than I have ever been in my life. Even when I was on TV and I was rubbing elbows with the rich and famous, because the core value for me, and I know I speak for the majority of professional musicians, it’s not accolades, it’s where you are at with your music in terms of integrity with your music and in terms of are you pushing yourself, are you pushing forward musically.”
While Johnny spends much of his time in Canada he spends a great deal of time in the places he loves most. You will usually find him sitting around a table breaking bread with friends and fans that have followed and stayed in touch with him over the years. These days he is performing at La Noche Piano Bar an intimate cabaret in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Singing for him has nothing to do with CD’s or the music business, it is his bliss.
As I always tell my students, careers come in all shapes and sizes. The only thing that can put limitations on us is ourselves! The combination of singing in venues that feel like home is success to Johnny. His story is exciting and it keeps evolving because he keeps evolving. The vision he created for his life is being lived out. So can yours.
I hope this inspires you to follow your heart knowing that you can build the career and life you dream of.